In less than three weeks, I will be in Kenya with 16 other people. I received an email from Pastor Francis and in it he tries to explain to us the nature of the ministry to which he has been called in Kenya. His story is repeated hundreds and thousands of times by others who are serving God there, day in and day out. Let's read what Pastor Francis has to say:
The call to serve God is sometimes in unlikely places. Let me try to give you an understanding of life in this place where I have been serving for 17 years, trying to make the gospel practical. I love this work. I sincerely welcome you to my world, the world of the lost, a people who have no status in society but are considered in the heavenly census.
They wake up in the morning without a plan because that is what they understand that it is to be alive. Nothing is planned but night means going to sleep, sleep in whatever fate brings forth. Some sleep in the corridors, the streets, in garbage sites. Maybe it happens for some to be under a roof, then maybe they sleep on the floor with no blanket or one small blanket for 6 children, boys and girls together. During the day, they have either one meal or nothing at all, so you see them begging or trying to get something from the garbage pile to eat.
The slum where I minister is called Kawangware. When I first visited the area in 1999 to do a church planting survey, I thought I was dreaming and I believed that my choice and direction to work with the lost communities were wrong. But God insisted that the people were to be reached, so I had no choice but to do church with them. I went down with my family to live with the lost people so that I could understand them better and lead them out to life. After working there for 4 years, I had given out almost everything in a bid to save them until I got lost myself. We can share this story someday.
Visiting Kenya and sitting with the widows and the orphans sharing in their journey to new life is not a fun but real experience in ministry. When you come, just hear, watch, and feel; then you will understand the gospel from an upside-down perspective.
If there is one comment we constantly receive from those who travel to Kenya with me, it is that we did not prepare them for the poverty—the sights, sounds, and smells of the life in the slums. The aspect of our visit that is so moving is that those who live in those situations are joyful, thanking God for what they have, and living from day to day. Their goals are our goals: feed their families, educate their children, find work that will provide for their needs. Yet, their opportunities are so limited when compared to ours that we cannot help but be moved and our hearts go out to them.
Whatever I raise between now and my trip on March 2 is what I give to our partners in Kenya. If it is much, then we give much. If it is little, we give little. I am trusting that you will hear what Pastor Francis is saying and them help us to bless our friends when we visit. You can give using PayPal through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882. I appreciate your willingness to help. Now I need you to follow through on what your heart is moving you to do—and give. Thank you and please pray for our friends and partners in Kenya, and our team that will be traveling from March 2 to March 17.